Patrick Calhoun

Kannon When the Buddha rose from the pipal treeto climb the north by rocks and ice:lotus and bolt,It emptied him In the orange springtime valleys, Buddhasocialized with yet-to-be Kung-fu-tze,next to wizards Boenwith Shinto gods Glancing at a mirrored lake, Buddha smilingsaw his red-skinned non-existing twin,Amida, sprouting fullysixteen arms. Amida fixed on scarlet human eyes,ears wearing scars like ice in milknecks brittle as summerbamboo stalks No monk would teach them -- Path or Truthsor the Greater Vehicle in the Sky --Their heads stood stunned,ignorant. “They need mercy,” weeped Amida, “I mustlet down an avalanche of sympathy,a balm to cool each soul.To stand them up.” A man named Kannon trained his sight away fromillusion. He got the skills and means but firmlyrooted himself in hiswell-worn shoes. With tightened fist, he’d sworn at the stars:“I could unsee you and deliver me.Better however foreverto help my kin.” How excellent to teach the Four and Eight tocyclers exhausted on the wheel oflife death life death.It filled him up. Patrick Calhoun lives in Columbia, South Carolina, is married to a booksellers’ association executive and has twin adults and a recently acquired son-in-law. Previously working as an accredited librarian and an information services director at USC, he has now retired. He has taught the English language and modern American literature to inmates at a state prison. Patrick plays pool but ever since he’s worn bifocals, he doesn’t dare to hustle anymore. He has been published most recently in the Asheville Poetry Review. He writes two blogs: and